The Families in Global Transition (FIGT) organization will be hosting a Conversations for Change on the topic of Working for Equity – International Schools and Education this week. Trisha Carter, Secretary of FIGT, and I will be leading the conversation.
I will, of course, be talking about my research!
What will we cover?
the privileges we have or don’t have as expats or Third Culture Kids,
the current discussions taking place in the international school communities about systemic racism,
the international school experience for students who come from non-English-speaking backgrounds,
the way school administrators, teachers, and the curriculum support systemic racism in international schools, and
the strategies for change
July 28 at 8:00 pm EDT (New York)/ July 29 at 8:00 am AWST (Perth & Singapore)
Codas are the Children of Deaf Adults. This means that biology makes them de facto members of the hearing world because they can hear. But they are also native ‘speakers’ of sign language because they grow up with one or more deaf parents.
Let me repeat that. Codas can hear but they are native users of sign language. They grow up signing with their parents who, ironically, are deaf but are often non-native users of sign language.
What do Codas have to do with Third Culture Kids?
According to Erin Mellett, a medical anthropologist, Codas grow up straddling the Hearing culture and the Deaf culture, feeling like they belong to both and neither. They often identify strongly with Third Culture Kids because of the shared experience of inbetweeness.
“Growing up I wanted to be deaf.”
It’s a warm day in early June and I’m sitting across from Tyra, a Deaf Education researcher and professor. Afternoon sunlight streams through the office windows, silhouetting Tyra as she talks about what it was like to grow up with a deaf father.
“I tried to jam pencils into my ears so that I’d make myself deaf.”
“Did you want to be deaf because your dad was deaf?”
“I think he wanted. I knew he wanted. He would have preferred to have deaf kids. And within my social world and my…yeah, within my world the people who are at the core, who are, you know, the top of the social hierarchy are the deaf people. And everybody else is on the periphery. And so that’s my frame of reference is being on the periphery where I’m not quite part of it. And never will understand what it means to be deaf.”
Erin Mellet, MS Thesis, Cochlear Implants and Codas: The Impact of a Technology on a Community
Want to know more?
Join us on July 24 at the FIGT Research Network webinar to hear Erin Mellett and Alexander Laferrière talk about the Children of Deaf Adults (Codas) as Third Culture Kids.
Erin is a medical anthropologist and will be speaking about her research on Codas. She will show us how she uses the Third Culture Kid literature as a analytical concept to better understand the Coda experience
Alex is a third generation American Sign Language user within a large Deaf family and will be sharing his own experiences of growing up as Coda.
UPDATE (Aug 25): The seminar was held on July 24. The write up & recording is now available on the FIGT website. READ MORE & WATCH THE RECORDING, which includes American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting.
I’ll be hosting The Graduate Roundtable at the FIGT Research Network this month. It’s the inaugural session. For more info click here.
I’m thrilled because Richard Pearce, PhD, who has supported my work for many years without having even met me, has agreed to act as a Guest Advisor. We’ll also be joined by Mari Korpela who was doing her postdoctoral work back when I was doing my PhD and Heather Meyer who was doing a PhD as the same time as me. Mari, Heather and I, along with my examiner Anne-Meike Fechter, met at the EASA conference back in 2014 in Estonia (folks, did you know that that’s where Skype was invented). The Graduate Roundtable will be like a mini, semi-reunion.
Of course, the main course will be served by the graduate students who will be sharing about their current research. One of whom is Preeti Samuel Rajendran, a fellow TCK who not long ago reached out to me about her research because she had read my book and liked it. She has such a fascinating upbringing and I find her research topic fascinating. It’s so different from what I’m used to hearing.